TAXES: Incompetence and Profits

Of all potential U.S. war weapons, none has been more completely orphaned than the profit motive. For fear it might be confused with its bastard cousin, profiteering, neither business nor Government has cared (or dared) stand up for it. Last week the House Ways & Means Committee prepared to abandon the orphan for the duration, reported favorably on a 94% excess-profits tax. For corporations in the highest bracket that means that every extra dollar of cost will actually cost only 6¢.

For stable businesses, and inefficient producers, the House committee's proposal was more lenient than the Treasury's, for its higher excess-profits...